NaPoWriMo 2018, Day 23: "Chronos, Thanatos, Eros" by Thomas Gorn
Chronos, Thanatos, Eros
Love concedes nothing to the gods. What, believe
that Time will leach the beauty from your bones
along with their strength? Will steal the strength
from our passion with its endurance?
Will teach me to endure temperate days
and peaceful sleep? Absurd. Crooked, brittle,
shaky our frames might be, but in fading bodies
lust burns cleaner, with less bothersome smoke
of flawless and proper, of prudent and pure.
But Death, they say, Death takes all from all.
No matter how lovely an aged nakedness,
it shrivels to bones and stinking emptiness.
No force or flex, no heat, no touch--what's left?
The dance and the gladness, the panting
and the passion--they remain, they remain!
Not Time or Death can erase one moment
lived, or stop a song already sung.
Only unconsummated hours are Death's meat.
Of all the gods, surely Love can undo love?
He might beckon you one day to serve him
in some new incarnation. You'll see his glory
on the mountain top or pouring coffee,
and I'll be just Tom then--predictable,
thin-skinned, slovenly, of doubtful worth.
Or else I will be the one who goes
to perform devotions in an alien temple.
Foolish god. We, who have been one, never
can be two. I'll be the one who loves
your new love, strokes his hand under the table,
grows giddy seeing him through the window.
Your voice will dictate my poems of praise
to my new idol's graceful laugh and turn.
No one can unmingle the water from the wine.
Love makes lovers gods, and we gods never yield.
-- Thomas Gorn
"Chronos, Thanatos, Eros" by Thomas Gorn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.